CBT and Counselling with Autism Spectrum Disorder Clients A Masterclass with Professor Tony Attwood

1 day 8:30am – 4:30pm 7 CPD hours

Course Brief

A one day masterclass from Professor Tony Attwood, THE acknowledged world expert on therapy with adolescent and adult autism spectrum disorder (ASD) clients.

Many therapists either struggle with therapy with ASD clients or use an ASD diagnosis as a basis for exclusion from all “talking therapies”. Difficulties with theory of mind, articulating emotions and a failure to understand the unique experiences of ASD clients often make therapy a challenge for both client and therapist.

This is a major problem. Nearly 80% of ASD clients suffer from a mental health problem at some stage in their lives, 40% have symptoms of at least one anxiety disorder and 30% suffer from depression. 35% have thought about or attempted suicide. Additionally, research indicates that between 10-30% of all drug users have ASD.

Socially, only 16% of people with ASD have full-time jobs, more than 60% rely on their family for all their financial support and nearly 40% still live with their parents.

To make matters worse however, many ASD adolescents and adults are undiagnosed and unrecognised. Their ASD is mislabelled by both therapist and family as a personality trait “a bit ASD/OCD”, “eccentric”, “clumsy”, “odd” “emotionally inexpressive” or “concrete thinking”. It is now estimated that around 1% of the adult population has “undiagnosed ASD” with the rate being up to 9 times higher in women than men. Placing this with the high incidence of mental health problems and you can come to only one conclusion

A sizeable minority of your clients will have problems relating to ASD.

Do you know who they are and how to work with them?

Such clients often find it difficult to use any talking therapy in its classic forms and either do not engage in therapy in the first place or drop out during the process. They are often classified as “resistant”, “difficult to engage” or “not psychologically minded”.

This Masterclass with the world-renowned expert, Professor Tony Attwood, will teach you how to work successfully with ASD adolescents and adults in your CBT and counselling work.

  • You’ll learn how ASD clients think and see the world so you can communicate with them more effectively
  • You’ll be able to explore issues important to your clients which are the direct result of their ASD
  • You’ll learn how to help ASD clients identify and label emotions
  • You learn how to use special interests and ASD characteristics as strengths that your clients can use to manage their problems more successfully
  • You’ll understand how to adapt CBT techniques and strategies so that your ASD clients can respond effectively with them as well as learning which CBT techniques are most useable with this client group.

This course counts as a follow up training for all SDS Students who have obtained SDS Accreditation in CBT - Level 1, 2 3 and 4.

You accreditation extends accordingly after this training.

Course Tutor

Prof Tony Attwood
Clinical Psychologist, Professor at Griffith University in Australia and Strathclyde University in Scotland

Dr Tony Attwood, Clinical Psychologist, is the acknowledged world expert on therapy with ASD clients. Professor at both Griffith University in Australia and Strathclyde University in Scotland, he’s worked with an estimated 8000 clients with some form of ASD diagnosis. He is author of innumerable peer reviewed studies and book chapters on autism, Asperger’s Syndrome and ASD. He’s also published 15 books in the field with sales topping 1 million, and titles translated into 28 languages. These include CBT to Help Young People with Asperger's Syndrome to Understand and Express Affection: A Manual for Professionals (2013) and Exploring Depression, and Beating the Blues: A CBT Self-Help Guide to Understanding and Coping with Depression in Asperger’s Syndrome (2016).


Recommended Materials

Self-Regulation for Autism - 1 CPD Hour

DVD by Teresa Garland

This workshop teaches participants how to create successful behavioural interventions for children with autism. You will learn how to help children correct their behaviours through video-modelling, how to monitor their behaviours with self-management techniques, how to learn the rules of the world through social stories and comic-strip conversations, and how to see their progress through videotaping. We discuss ways to engage and communicate with children with autism and how to help them gracefully transition from one activity, place or person to the next. In addition, you will learn to combine techniques from behavioural therapy and play therapy for the purpose of replacing a child’s repetitive behaviours with functional skills.

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